The photo shows Drum Major Wilfred R Thompson, 1st Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment, Dover, 1914.
From the daughter of Drum Major Thompson:
Drums at Dover
My father as Drum Major had an eventful time with the Boys in the Drums, while they were at Dover Castle. Their worst exploit was the scaling of some part of the building, and the destruction of a chimney by pushing it until it fell from the roof to the ground.
Punishment was by caning of bared rear, the culprit leaning over a table and the rest of the boys drawn up in a semi-circle to witness what might befall them. The Drum Major officiated. My father hated these occasions; once he jibbed and delegated the duty, since the victim was the son of a former Drum Major who had given him the treatment some 10 years before.
These were no doubt the boys who were reported to have fired the first British shots of the war in Dover Harbour…..”
Volume Three of the Regimental History by Colonel J M Cowper tells the story of the first British shots of the war:
"On 4th August 1914 orders to mobilise reached the 1st Battalion, King’s Own, then stationed in Dover. The battalion promptly found the pre-arranged guards on the breakwater forts, and within thirty-five minutes they were embarked by launch and on their way to their posts. The Royal Navy was soon at work sweeping German shipping from the seas, and among the vessels brought into the harbour was a sailing ship which, like the others, required a military guard. Every man of the garrison was already committed, so the band boys of the King’s Own were detailed for this duty. The German crew kept below, but in the middle of the night the ship’s cook thought it safe to put out a cautious head in search of air. He was greeted by a volley which did more credit to the alertness of the band boys than to their marksmanship. It also gave them the distinction of firing the first shots of the war."